Thucydides, describing what happened when the Hellenes’ Great War veterans came home from the battlefields:
“Words had to change their ordinary meaning and to take that which was now given them. Reckless audacity came to be considered the courage of a loyal ally; prudent hesitation, specious cowardice; moderation was held to be a cloak for unmanliness; ability to see all sides of a question, inaptness to act on any. Frantic violence became the attribute of manliness; cautious plotting, a justifiable means of self-defence. The advocate of extreme measures was always trustworthy; his opponent a man to be suspected. To succeed in a plot was to have a shrewd head, to divine a plot a still shrewder; but to try to provide against having to do either was to break up your party and to be afraid of your adversaries.”
History of the Peloponnesian War, Book III, 3.82-
Quoted by commentor at Juan Cole’s blog back in January, but I didn’t end up posting it then. Just observing various blogstoushes has prompted me to post it now.